These past few months have required all of us to come up with creative and flexible solutions to move forward. Springboard Collaborative is no different.
At Springboard, we have dedicated our time to shifting our literacy and family engagement approach to online platforms. While we reimagine our systems and share new resources on our website in response to COVID-19, Springboard Collaborative’s underlying purpose remains clear: to build community.
The world we knew shifted rapidly under our feet; and our internal staff, partner schools, teachers, families, and especially our students felt that shift deeply. Some of us may be stuck within our homes and feel isolated and alone. By reaching out and engaging in online communities, we can find ideas, suggestions, solutions, and support.
At Springboard Collaborative, we are working quickly to build communities for teachers and families alike.
One way in which Springboard Collaborative took a new approach to community building for educators was by hosting a Town Hall event the week after the first school shutdowns were announced. Educators from Fresno and San Francisco joined those from New York City and Baltimore to share what is happening with their schools and students, as well as the challenges of equity and access to distance learning and strategies to remain connected to families. A Springboard Collaborative Teachers Facebook group was created as a result of that Town Hall to give educators a place to continue the conversation and remain connected. All educators are encouraged to join.
Our staff took to Facebook again in order to host virtual family workshops through Facebook Live. Some members of our staff with children of their own demonstrated reading tips for families, in English and Spanish, on such subjects as “choosing a ‘just right’ book” and “reading smoothly.” By watching these videos and participating in the chat, families were able to connect with their own children and other parents across the country!
Included in Springboard’s open source resources for families, teachers, and districts is our FELA toolkit. A FELA, or Family Educator Learning Accelerator, is a team approach to helping students make progress in their learning during a set amount of time. Educators were provided this resource and invited to a four-part webinar series that explained what the resource was and how to use it. Educators were again able to connect with colleagues both near and far to receive professional development on hosting a FELA with their students and families.
And finally, our web-based app, appropriately named Connect, has been offered to all families who wish to receive daily tips and reminders on becoming at-home reading coaches with their children.
Our hope is that these newly-forged connections will not end when this crisis ends but will go on and continue to build us all into the communities, educators, and at-home reading coaches we want to be.
By connecting with those not only in our local communities but across our country, we find that we may be socially distanced, but we are not alone.